Lake Palace, Udaipur used to be his Summer Home

I was attending a one-day conference organized by my institute at The Radisson, Delhi. A speaker was talking about the HRH group of hotels (Historic Resort Hotels). It usually takes me a minute or two to pay real attention to a presentation. I was not in that frame of mind yet.

Suddenly I heard the words, “When my father decided to convert it into a hotel, all the family members were opposed to the idea, including myself. You see The Lake Palace, Udaipur used to be our summer home.”

Arvind-singh-mewar

Maharana Arvind Singh of Udaipur

Forget about getting attentive, I nearly fell off my chair after hearing this. It has never crossed my mind that the Lake Palace could be someone’s summer home! The speaker was the Maharaja Arvind Singh of Mewar.

After listening to his talk, I was wondering if they monitor what is written about them on the net? I had this vague idea about reading something about bird droppings and ants in a balcony of the Lake Palace Hotel room! But how do you tell this to a Maharaja?

During the lunch, I dared to approach him and said, “Can I ask you a question?” Standard procedure of breaking ice during a conference with a speaker, only I had never done it with some who has Maharaja attached to his name (though he uses the title of Mewar and not Maharaja). He was gracious enough and said yes. So I tried to keep a neutral territory and inquired if they monitor the web and keep a tab of what their customers say about their stay at the various properties owned by them? He replied that they have a website and I could find a lot of information there! I tried again, and said these days many people search the net before planning a trip and many people write about their experiences at various places, a lot of information can come up in these searches. While I was trying to explain this to him in some detail with examples, he suddenly said, “I cannot eat standing, why don’t we go inside the conference hall and continue this talk there?”

So a few minutes later, the Maharaja with a small portion of boiled food on his plate and me with a soup, occupied a table. There were two other people with us and I think they worked with him.

We did a bit of small talk, where I told him I am a hard core budget traveler and though I have been to Udaipur, I do not even dream of staying in the Lake Palace. He added that all kind of travelers have a place in Udaipur and even the hippies are good for the economy. I was wondering if he kept me in that category! Because if he did, it is funny even to try and imagine myself as a hippie! But I did not press the point.

Gradually, I mentioned having read about ants (could not bring the bird dropping part) in the hotel room and the need in today’s world to keep a tab about what is written about a company on the web in general. He became thoughtful and then added; “Maybe my managers block some feedback.” He added to the lady in his group, “We probably need to open a web based feedback from our customers but the problem is if we get to know about it after they have left, we cannot do anything about it.” Then he turned to me and said, “Why don’t you send the links to me that you are talking about and send it directly to me.” I added in a low voice, “In that case, I need your email address.” He took out his card and wrote his email and phone number on it.His card has three lines:

Arvind Singh Mewar

The Palace

Udaipur.

Soon our head of school for the Bengal campus joined the group and we chitchatted about tourism in general. Then I took their leave to grab some food before another session of the conference started.

PS. I have sent the links to him but I wonder if I will ever get a reply?

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17 thoughts on “Lake Palace, Udaipur used to be his Summer Home”

  1. No Anirudh, I work at a management insitute. Thanks for stopping by.Thanks Teri, it was exciting and unusual. I think he did not mean it that way, about Hippies and budget travelers but I can never be sure 🙂

  2. That’s interesting! What an address! The Maharaja, The Palace, Udaipur. Hmm… reminds me of somebody who wanted to write a letter to the Russian scientist Landau, but did not know his address, so they wrote – Landau, Moscow on the envelope, and it reached him! I heard this as a child, and I remember wanting to be as famous as that :)Do let us know if you receive a reply from him.

  3. By the way, what is the feed for this blog? When I try to subscribe, bloglines gives me the matter from your blogspot blog.

  4. Anirudh, I can understand your reaction and I was Dr. Rahul Varman’s Ph.D. student at IITK :)Shruthi, no reply till date. And what is site feed?

  5. Hi Mridula, an interesting post. It is good if he replies, but even otherwise, as long as he takes it seriously and checks it out, he will definitely have more customers dropping in instead of birds ;-). But if I’m he,I would mail back for sure.

  6. Mridula, I mean the Atom or RSS feed that is used to keep track of your blog. If I subscribe to your blog thro a Reader, such as Bloglines, I can read your post through the reader everytime you have a new post, or everytime a post is updated. It saves me the trouble of coming to your blog everyday and seeing if you have anything new. For example, my site is http://nychthemeron.blogspot.com, and my site feed is http://nychthemeron.blogspot.com/atom.xml

  7. I’m anti-CAT- it seems to be all about gassing around and loads of money. But there are a couple of people here- Rahul Varman and Manali- who’re redeeming the management junta’s image in my eyes. But I would’ve never guessed you were working in management. Take that as a compliment. And if you don’t mind, perhaps you can enlighten me a little.

  8. Mridula, actually you made a very interesting point for him. Can you ask one more thing, he is maharaja of mewar so do thay have a single cheap kind of room for people of mewar who wants to visit Palace in udaypur.Mean while, if u have some time read new posts in http://apniduniya.blogspot.com (hindi blog)

  9. who’s next, the pope ? i am a homebody.. but you make travel seem interesting.. maybe i should make an effort to overcome all the phobias and inhibitions i nurse about travelling..

  10. first visit here – and i enjoyed reading this post … the visiting card – reminds me of ‘miracle on 34th street’ – all letters addressed to santa claus getting delivered by the USPS to kris kringle at the county courthouse … the incident about Landau was funny too 🙂 – maybe its time to send in a letter to Dr. Manmohan Singh, New Delhi, India 🙂

  11. Its interesting to read your experience to meet maharana of Udaipur.i am resident of Udaipur and I once meet the maharana for a Second when he was celebrating his birthday at his place and any one can meet him and present a NAZARANA(Gift) to him.

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